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Good morning everyone. The festival of Santa Lucia, patron saint of light, was this past Saturday, the 13th. This coincided with the largest tides of the year following the Full Cold Moon on Friday and the moon at perigee on the 12th. The range in Portland was a whopping 14.1’ on Saturday! The moon also happened to be riding high on Saturday well above the celestial equator. With just a little snow on the ground here in Appleton the full moon negates any need for a flashlight while walking to the barn to check the woodstove. All is bright and moon shadows through the trees tell me how clear the night is. Light is a precious commodity this time of year. Time to bulk up on the D vitamins to ward off the cabin fever. Winter has yet to begin and already we crave light on these darkest days of the year.

We take great comfort from lights. My guess is that we are the only household in town that lights an outdoor tree all year long. I’ll put our string of LEDs up against a stark white 60 watt bulb any day of the week. So the festival of Santa Lucia is a good one for us. It gives us the excuse to light a few more candles. When out on the water we enjoy lights of a different sort but gain the same comfort when we see them. Of course, I am talking about lighthouses. The hope that seaside beacons bring to sailors coming into a snug harbor is no less appreciated than the lights we string on our tree or the precious sunlight that will soon be headed north once again. In an age when GPS receivers seem all too dependable I find a greater comfort seeing Curtis Island Light standing its watch in Camden or the sectored light at Goose Rocks guarding the east entrance to the Fox Island Thorofare. I have been caught on more than one occasion singing holiday jingles aboard the schooner. And now you know… it is all about the lights.

The festival of Santa Lucia also gives us an excuse to make cookies. Jen has eased up on a few of the spices in the traditional recipe. I will continue testing a random sampling.

Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

St. Lucia Spice Cookies

1 ¼ stick of butter ½ c sugar ½ c molasses ½ c maple syrup

1 ¬Ω tbsp cinnamon 1 tbsp ginger 1 tbsp cloves

1 egg 1 tbsp baking powder 3 c flour

In a sauce pan melt the butter, maple syrup, molasses and sugar on low heat. Stir in the spices. While the butter mixture is cooling, whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the egg to the butter mixture. In a small bowl mix baking powder with one tbsp of water. It should fizz. Add the baking powder to the butter mixture. Stir in the flour to form a smooth dough. The dough should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours. Roll out the dough onto a floured board and cut with your favorite cookie cutters! Bake at 400 for approx. 5 minutes. Enjoy!

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